Requirements for Public Bodies
Public bodies have specific responsibilities under the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 (the Act).
Section 6(1) of the Act provides that the following persons shall be regarded as Designated Public Officials or “the lobbied” for the purposes of the Act
a) Ministers and Ministers of State,
b) Members of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann,
c) Members of the European Parliament for constituencies in the State,
d) Members of local authorities,
e) Special Advisers appointed under section 11 of the Public Service Management Act 1997
f) Public servants of a prescribed description
g) Any other prescribed office holders or description of persons
Designated Public Officials in the Civil Service
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has made regulations (The Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 (Designated Public Officials) Regulations 2015) which provide that any persons in positions in the Civil Service in respect of which the maximum salary is €110,014 or higher (non PPC) or €115,576 or higher (PPC) are prescribed as Designated Public Officials. A copy of the Regulations are below. These Regulations bring the following general civil service grades within the scope of the Act with effect from the commencement date of the Act (1 September 2015):
- Secretary General
- Second Secretary
- Deputy Secretary
- Assistant Secretary
Other specific grades at these salary levels which have been prescribed as Designated Public Officials are set out in Schedule 2 of the Regulations.
Designated Public Officials in local authorities
The Regulations also provide that any persons in positions in local authorities in respect of which the maximum salary is €100,348 or higher are prescribed as Designated Public Officials. This brings the following local authority grades within the scope of the Act:
- Chief Executive Officers
- Directors of Services
- Head of Finance
- Assistant Chief Executive Dublin City Council
- Head of Human Resources Dublin City Council
Requirement to Publish Designated Public Officials’ details
Section 6(4) of the Act requires each public body to publish a list showing the name, grade and brief details of the role and responsibilities of each “designated public official” of the body. The list must be kept up to date. The purpose of the list is twofold:
- To allow members of the public identify those persons who are designated public officials; and
- As a resource for lobbyists filing a return to the Register who may need to source a designated public official’s details.
It is important, therefore, that the list of designated public officials is prominently displayed and easily found on the homepage of your organisation’s website. The page should also contain a link to the Register of Lobbying http://www.lobbying.ie
The Commission has published an information note setting out the steps which public bodies should take to meet this requirement.